iPhone Thefts Drop Drastically Thanks To Built-In “Kill Switch”

Author: ujjalnewsnish

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iPhone Thefts Drop Drastically Thanks To Built-In “Kill Switch”

A kill feature that renders a smartphone useless if stolen appears to be taking a bite out of crime.

It’s been over a year since Apple introduced a “kill switch” with iOS 7, and a new report claims iPhone thefts have quickly plummeted thanks to the added security. According to Reuters, the number of stolen iPhones dropped by as much as 50 percent thanks to a feature letting the device’s owner disable it remotely.


Introduced with iOS 7 in September 2013, Activation Lock requires your Apple ID and password before someone can erase and reactivate your device, rendering your iPhone or iPad useless to thieves who want to resell it for a quick buck. A similar feature in Android 5.0 Lollipop known as Factory Reset Protection requires the owner’s Google password in order to wipe the phone. Law enforcement officials had long been urging Apple and other device makers to implement such a “kill switch” to help crack down on the use of stolen phones.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said Wednesday that iPhone thefts were down by half in the British capital. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the number of stolen Apple smartphones dropped by 40 percent in San Francisco and 25 percent in New York since the kill switch was introduced a year ago.

The news marks a sharp turn around from just a few years earlier, when smartphone thefts were becoming increasingly common. ”We have made real progress in tackling the smartphone theft epidemic that was affecting many major cities just two years ago,” said Mayor Johnson.


Some mobile manufacturers have been reticent about kill switches becoming mandated by law, arguing that such features leave phones more vulnerable to hacking. Both Google and Microsoft initially opposed California’s legislation but later came to support it. Device makers changed their position last year when the CTIA, a trade organization that represents the telecom companies, promised to make antitheft software standard on all phones from participating device makers and carriers, including Apple, Samsung, Google, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile.

Google and Samsung also offer their own kill switches, while Microsoft is still behind on a promise to add the feature to its own mobile operating system. Hopefully Windows won’t keep lagging behind for too much longer.


Author: ujjalnewsnish

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